Luxury Tours: If you're looking to experience an amazing travel phenomenon, and you've got 24 days of spare time on your hands, you don't mind being whisked around the world in a private jet on a tight itinerary, and you're open minded to cultural wonders, than we've found the ultimate trip of a lifetime. Unfortunately, it's already sold out for 2007 (although there is a waitlist); but we want you to keep it in mind for 2008 and beyond, so that you have the opportunity to book it far enough in advance. Starting at a grand price of $49,950, the accommodations are first class all the way. Your excursion starts out in Washington D.C., where a reception is hosted by the National Geographic Society. From there, your journey begins as you are on your way to exploring thirteen of the world's most celebrated destinations.
Heading south first to Lima, Cusco & Machu Picchu, Peru, you will visit an Archaeological Museum, colonial mansions and colorful Quechan markets, paying a visit the sacred valley of the Incas. From there, you will fly 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile to Easter Island, the most remote inhabited island in the world. Once you've pondered how the natives first arrived to this far off destination, you are headed off to Apia, Samoa in Polynesia to bask in the tropical paradise and visit lovely seaside villages. Crossing the international dateline and losing a day, the next stop is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which is the largest known coral reef in the world and boasts thousands of species of fish and birds.
From there, you will be flown to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire, where you'll examine carved murals, classic art and architecture, continuing on to Angkor Thom to explore the ancient Bayon Temple. Dinner and a night will be spent in Chengdu, China, before departing for Lhasa, Tibet. What used to be known as a "forbidden city," you'll spend time here shopping for finely crafted ornaments, rugs and religious paintings in the vibrantly colored Tibetan markets, and visiting the nearly 600 year old Sera Monastery, hoping to observe monks in practice.
Next stop is to the mythical land of India to visit one of the world's most famous monuments, the Taj Mahal in Agra, and to explore its charbagh garden. An additional stopover will be made in Jaipur, India's "Pink City," known for its red sandstone buildings and romantic charm. Here, you will make time for lunch and a game of elephant polo. Followed is a flight to Kilimanjaro where you'll be whisked over to the Serengeti Plain to explore the vast wildlife sanctuary. You will experience several game drives in search of zebras, wildebeests, lions, leopards and cheetahs, taking in the wonders of undisturbed ecosystem.
You will next explore the city of Luxor in ancient Egypt, and discover its wondrous Temple of Karnak and King Tut's tomb in the Valley of the Kings. From there, you'll be flown to Cairo to investigate the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, re boarding the private jet to continue on to final destination, Fez,
Morocco. Here, you will wander through the medina (old town) and the bustling souks (marketplaces) known for its leather tanneries, apothecary goods, cosmetics, herbs, jewelry, perfumes, and slippers, traditional commodities in this Arabic country. The last meal of the trip will be a lavish spread of Moroccan delicacies before heading back to Washington, D.C., where you will connect with your flight home.
While it sounds like you will be whisked around, there is plenty of time to enjoy each destination. Additional perks to this extraordinary expedition are the private jet that allows less layover time, and gives a certain access to freedom to scheduling. The jet is fitted with 88 seats on a Boeing 757 instead of 189 seats, giving luxurious amounts of legroom. There is an expedition physician on board, as well as a specialty chef, and the flight crew is handpicked for their attention to detail, commitment, security and top notch hospitality. Interestingly, a couple of world-class scholars also travel as part of the dedicated team.
For a more detailed itinerary and further information, please contact a dedicated iExplore representative at 1-800-iExplore; trips are available in March or October. Website:
Additional trips are available in January and February with Luxury Tour. Call 1-877-306-5599 or visit their website: www.luxurytour.com.
For LxM Sherry Martin